Isiah Thomas scored six of his 18 points in the final 4:32 as the Detroit Pistons snapped Atlanta's six-game winning streak with a 90-87 victory over the Hawks last night in the Pontiac Silverdome.

The victory made up for Detroit's 81-71 loss to the Hawks a night earlier in Atlanta and moved the Pistons to within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Hawks in the Central Division.

Down, 71-66, entering the final period, the Pistons held the Hawks scoreless for four minutes in the quarter to take a 78-77 lead with 5:25 left.

Thomas hit a jumper with 1:07 left to give Detroit an 88-86 lead. After Atlanta's John Battle made one of two free throws with 48 seconds left, Detroit's Joe Dumars sank two free throws with six seconds left to cap the scoring.

Forward Dominique Wilkins, the Hawks' leading scorer with an average of 26 points per game, did not play because of a sore right knee.

Guard Glenn Rivers scored 22 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter to lead Atlanta. Battle and Cliff Levingston had 12 points apiece.

Celtics 117, Knicks 108:

Larry Bird scored 32 of his 41 points in the first half and Boston survived a late New York surge for a victory.

The victory was Boston's ninth in 10 games and 12th straight at Boston Garden against the Knicks. New York has won just one of its 13 road games this season.

Danny Ainge capped the surge with his second three-pointer of the game. He set an NBA record of making three-pointers in 13 consecutive games.

Kevin McHale scored a season-high 30 points, including 10 of Boston's last 17, and Ainge added 15.

76ers 116, Jazz 93:

Cliff Robinson scored 21 of his 25 points in the second half and Charles Barkley scored 23 to give Philadelphia a victory at home.

Robinson's two jumpers started a 14-point run for the 76ers, who went ahead 104-87 when Maurice Cheeks stole a pass and scored on a fast-break layup with 3:20 to go. A three-point play by Robinson with 2:41 left gave Philadelphia a 108-87 advantage.

Nuggets 98, Nets 93:

In East Rutherford, N.J., Alex English scored 25 points and became the 14th player in NBA history to score 20,000 career points as Denver rallied from a 19-point deficit

English, who surpassed the 20,000-point mark late in the first quarter, hit a jumper at 9:59 of the fourth period to give the Nuggets their first lead at 79-77.

However, it wasn't until the final two minutes when Denver wrapped up the victory, and much of the credit for that went to Jay Vincent, who scored 11 of his 21 points in the final 12 minutes.

The Nets, who have lost four in a row and are now 5-24, built a 58-39 lead late in the second period and were still ahead 60-47 at the half.

But New Jersey hit just three of 13 shots and turned the ball over 10 times in the third quarter as Denver rallied behind 11 points by English to pull within 75-73.

Cavaliers 116, Clippers 100:

In Richfield, Ohio, Brad Daugherty scored 29 points as Cleveland handed Los Angeles its eighth consecutive defeat.

The victory, Cleveland's third straight, evened the Cavs record at 15-15. The last time Cleveland was at .500 this late in the season was when they finished the 1977-78 campaign with a 43-39 record.

Lakers 103, Mavericks 89:

James Worthy, held without a basket for more than 32 minutes, struck for 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter in Inglewood, Calif.,to help Los Angeles extend its winning streak to 12 games.

SuperSonics 110, Rockets 95:

Tom Chambers scored a career-high 46 points in Seattle.

Chambers, whose previous career high was 42 points, converted 15 of 23 field goals and 15 of 15 free throws. He also had eight rebounds.